Top-Performing Organizations Increasing Efforts to Get Closer to Customers

Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study identifies initiatives that are most influential in improving customer retention among World-Class Sales Organizations

May 16, 2012, 15:55 ET from Miller Heiman

RENO, Nev., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Among the findings from the Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study is a greater emphasis on taking clearly defined actions to get closer to customers. Miller Heiman, a leading sales performance consulting firm, announced this observation in the results from its ninth annual study of selling and sales management best practices in the complex selling environment.  


"When companies place an emphasis on being customer-focused, sales performance results follow," said Sam Reese, CEO, Miller Heiman. "The results of this year's study shows top-performing organizations are bringing greater consistency to how they engage with their customers."

The study results show that World-Class Sales Organizations are better positioned to react quickly when changes occur in the sales cycle thus allowing their salespeople to spend more time on deals they can win. This not only allows for improved prospecting and higher wins rates; it also results in higher retention. Best practice activities in this area have helped World-Class Sales Organizations increase customer retention by 19 percent over other organizations.

Among the activities that are helping World-Class Sales Organizations get closer to customers and improve retention include:

  • Consistently using a formal process for measuring customer satisfaction.
  • Developing a clear understanding of customers' issues before proposing a solution.
  • Creating relationships and dialog at the highest executive levels with strategic accounts.
  • Ensuring the sales force spends sufficient time with customers.

The study defined an exclusive group of respondents that outperformed in areas such as opportunity creation, opportunity management, relationship management, and enablement activities as World-Class Sales Organizations. Representing just six percent of the study participants, this group showed significantly better results in several key performance metrics when compared to other study participants including customer retention, salesperson productivity, and quota achievement.

Data was collected during the fall of 2011 and included more than 1,200 professionals at companies in complex selling environments regarding the sales activities and performance of their organizations.

An Executive Summary of the results of this study includes insights for sales leaders to capitalize on the findings when validating and continuing to develop their strategies to be successful this year.

View a complimentary copy of the study highlights or download the executive summary for detailed insights about the best practices of World-Class Sales Organizations:

For more information, visit

SOURCE Miller Heiman